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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR MEETING AGRONOMIC, ENVIRONMENTAL, AND SOCIETAL CROP PRODUCTION DEMANDS

Location: Agroecosystem Management Research

Title: Cob biomass supply for bioenergy in the north central USA

Authors
item Schmer, Marty
item Dose, Heather

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 16, 2012
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Corn (Zea mays L) cobs are being evaluated as a potential bioenergy feedstock for combined heat and power generation (CHP) and conversion into a liquid biofuel. The objective of this study was to determine corn cob availability in north central U.S. (Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota) using existing corn grain ethanol plants as a proxy for possible future co-located cellulosic ethanol plants. Current available cob production (2008-2009) estimates averaged 9.38 Tg and 6.40 Tg using a 80 km radius area and 40 km radius area, respectively, from existing corn grain ethanol plants. Significant radius area overlap (53% overlap for 40 km radius and 86% overlap for 80 km radius) exists for cob availability between current corn grain ethanol plants in this region suggesting possible cob supply constraints for a mature biofuel industry. Economic and feedstock logistics models need to account for possible supply constraints under a mature biofuel industry. A multi-feedstock approach will likely be required to meet multiple end user renewable energy requirements.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014